The first time he had seen her she was standing outside the shop in the piazza. What a girl! An hour-glass figure, long golden hair and an inviting smile on her smooth face.
Paul had gone to the piazza on several other occasions if only to feast his eyes on her. Unfortunately, she was not always there. When he saw her, he felt weak at the knees. It did not take long for him to realize that he wanted her to be his own.
He saw her again sometime later. She was again outside the shop watching the people pass by. He noticed that, on that particular occasion, she had a pigeon sitting on her head but her expression did not change. How beautiful she was! What a girl!
At 25 years of age, he had not yet met the girl of his dreams. ‘Truth be told’, some colleagues had commented sarcastically – ‘the Lord must have been feeling particularly ungenerous on the day Paul entered this world’.
However he did take one or two of his office girl colleagues out to dinner or to the picture or to a disco. But there it stopped. The necessary fatal attraction was not there. He was no longer interested.
But now he was smitten. He felt to be in love at first sight. He had always thought that his girl, when he comes to make the choice, would look like her – the model girl of his dreams.
His elderly mother used to chide him that it was about time he had a steady girl, got married and settled down. But he always replied that he was in no hurry to tie the knot, that there was still time for marriage and, with a smile on his face, that he’ll still make her a granny one day.
When they were having tea together one day, she told him how she had met his father and other events from her early life. “You live too much in the past Mum. You can’t bear to leave it all behind,” he replied.
His mother was hurt by these words. “When you get to my age son, you spend an awful lot of time sitting in a chair just thinking – thinking about the past, all the things you used to do and all the things you wished you could have done but never got round to doing”.
But back to the girl in the piazza. He had decided at last to approach her and, if things got right, to bring her home to meet his mother. He had decided to make that girl his own.
There’s no doubt that the neighbours, but more particularly the men, would be envious when they see her. That would suit him fine.
His decision already made, he dressed properly, put the special after-shave on his face, combed his hair and with a stride that betrayed his eagerness, made for the piazza. He entered the flower and garden shop, sought the elderly owner and anxiously asked him. – “What is the price of that garden statue of the girl outside the shop please?”